Welcome! If this is your first visit, you will need to register to participate.

DO NOT use symbols in usernames. Doing so will result in an inability to sign in & post!

If you cannot sign in or post, please visit our vBulletin Talk section for answers to vBulletin related FAQs.


No announcement yet.

Odd time question?????

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Odd time question?????

    How do you go about finding out what time signature a particular song is in??
    For example, I was trying Tesla's "Earthmover"
    (no relation)
    and couldn't figure what time sig he's in.

    Thanks, Bryan

  • #2
    Great question. There are also sorts of tricks - listen to the kick and snare and count between downbeats.
    Earthmover is mostly 4/4, but that bridge is weird. I think it is still 4/4 but they are "playing over the bar." It sounds lile a dotted 8th pattern that resolves in 8 bars. Not sure though. Someone with a better ear should check me on that.


    • #3
      4/4 and 11/4 would be my interpretation.
      website | youtube | facebook | group | newsletter | message | recommendations


      • #4
        In a lot of music you can go about it by listening for repeats. You are looking for the smallest subdivision/pattern that provides a recurring phrase (it could be rhythmic or melodic). If you want to say it in a word, you are looking for the motif.

        The guitar, bass and drums during the odd time in Earthmover are pretty much in sync accent wise, and they are all forming the motif.

        All that is left is to count. Don't return to 1 until the motif you identified begins again. In this song, I could first hear the motif in the guitar phrase and then it was easiest for me to count in 8th notes (with the HiHat).

        11/4 works, as Alan said. I prefer alternating 6/4 & 5/4, since there is a harmonic and rhythmic structure that I hear being repeated after 6/4 (not an exact repeat, of course. A motif can develop and have permutations, it isn't a strict repeat.).
        Last edited by Joe_K; 05-04-08, 02:11 PM.

        | Argos | Your Cloud | Lost In Germany | Life Wasted | Identity Crisis
        | The Xerophyte | Red Barchetta | Subdivisions or Drums Only |

        Superior Drummer w/ Metal Foundry, dfhS samples and Platinum Samples Evil Drums.


        • #5
          Hey guys,

          It's easy - just count it 1/1 time - every song fits in


          • #6
            Hercules, you're a genius!

            "what was that?...."

            "1/1 - keep up!"
            7 Piece A to E Kit conversion - TD6&TD7 Linked,
            7 Piece Taye Studiomaple + Zildjian & Wuhan :)



            • #7
              all my new songs will be in 1/1 time.
              Sure, counting the rest of band in is more difficult, but the simplicity is beautiful. ...the power of 1.
              TD20x. trick pedals. Butt kicker
              Psalm 150:5 Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals.


              • #8
                Thanks for your help guys, this kind of brings to light that I have a long way to go understanding time theory.

                I don't know a lot more than I know...


                • #9

                  Can you imagine how 32nd notes would sound in that time sig...???

                  - your source for electronic cigs. Use coupon code "" for 10% off every order!!!


                  • #10
                    A song isn't always "in" a single time signature. I'm working on the keyboard transcription of The Glass Prison by DT and Jordan threw in a few different time signatures here and there, so things can change.

                    Try a song that's a little more challenging like Planet x's 21/16, there's a fun time signature to count in.
                    Music is not my passion, it's my obsession...
                    You Tube Scychful